The Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá
To know about about California history is to know about the history of the missions that are located across the entire span of California’s coast. The missions were founded by Spanish Catholic priests during the mid 1700s to the early 1800s and were created in order to evangelize the Native Americans. One of the most popular missions is mission san luis rey as it is known as the “King of the Missions” due to its size. While in San Diego, be sure to stop by Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, the very first mission out of the twenty one missions in California.
The mission was built near the San Diego River in order to be close to a water source and to have prosperous agriculture. After raids from the local, Tipai-Ipai Indians, the original structure was burnt down. The missionaries then rebuilt the mission, except this time the specifications of an army fort. The result was now high windows throughout the mission in order to protect from intruders and other specifications. The Mission San Diego de Alcala is perhaps most known for its 46 foot tall campanario, or bell wall. This bell wall famously holds five ball, the largest of which is a bronze bell that weighs an impressive 1,200 pounds! The mission is also the location of La Casa de Padre Serra, which was built in 1774. Also known as the home of Padre Serra, it’s the very location where Father Junipero Serra slept.
The Basilica San Diego de Alcala is open daily from 9am to 4:45pm. Here, you can walk around the mission and take in its historic adobe structure, stop by the visitors center to learn more about the history of the museum, and even enjoy the museum that was created for the mission. Additionally, there are also gardens located at this mission which are open to all visitors. The mission is located at 10818 San Diego Mission Road. Stop by today.